Lights coach Eric Wynalda said starting midfielder Cristhian Hernandez has been released.
The move has not been made official by the team, but Wynalda said Hernandez “wasn’t a good fit and (the team is) moving in a different direction.”
Lights FC will visit El Paso Locomotive FC (7-2-5) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. El Paso is in second place in the USL Championship division’s Western Conference.
Lights assistant coach Auggie Rodriguez said Hernandez is “extremely talented,” but agreed with Wynalda’s assessment.
“We coach with emotion. We coach with heart,” Rodriguez said. “As you step in the professional levels, you can’t do that. You have to be more realistic. … We wish him the best of luck.”
Hernandez made 14 appearances for the Lights (5-6-4), delivered three assists and scored his only goal against New Mexico United last week. He sustained a knee injury in the second half and was carried off the field. Edwin Rivas was subbed in and had an assist and scored in extra time.
Hernandez made his debut with the MLS’s Philadelphia Union in 2012, appearing in two games. In 2013 he was loaned to the USL’s Harrisburg City Islanders and scored three goals in nine appearances. A year later, Hernandez signed with New York Cosmos B.
Meanwhile, Wynalda extended leading scorer Irvin Raul Parra’s suspension for a second game. The internal discipline dates to the Tulsa FC match because of Parra’s reaction to scoring a goal and a post on Instagram.
El Paso is riding a nine-game winning streak, while featuring former U.S. National team member Jerome Kiesewetter, May’s USL player of the month.
Jonathan Eskin covers the Lights for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com
Who: Lights FC (5-6-4) at El Paso Locomotive FC (7-2-5)
What: United Soccer League match
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Southwest University Park, El Paso
TV: KVCW-6; streaming: ESPN Plus
Radio: Spanish only, KENO-AM (1460)